Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Guess the Plot
Rachel Takes the Crown
1. A trip to London is just what the doctor ordered for the Lipschitz family. But for kleptomaniac daughter Rachel, it's more than just another family vacation - it's an international incident.
2. After stumbling into a time-warp portal, Rachel discovers she's just become the wife of Henry VIII. Thanks to history lessons, she knows that she's not his last wife and that she'll soon be beheaded . . . unless she manages to change history.
3. Ten-year-old Rachel wishes to be a princess one night and she wakes up the next morning as Princess Victorine . . . the day before she's to become Queen. Can Rachel get back to her own life? Or is she destined to rule the land of Althadia?
4. The Little Miss Tyke Beauty Pageant is open to the prettiest 6-year-olds in the city. But even false teeth smiles, adult makeup and teased out hair can't compete when Rachel's mother sets her sights--and the sights on her RPG-7 anti-missile weapon--on winning.
5. Traditionally, only men can rule in Laternia, but when Princess Rachel's father dies, she refuses to abdicate, and her cousin Damien, next in line, secretly plots to overthrow her and set himself up as leader, in this politically astute chapter book for seven-year-olds.
6. Rachel Sumner hates 5th Grade--Mrs. McAllister is mean, the girls are all into clothes, and Jamey Draper needs to be punched in the mouth. When the school starts selling candy bars as a fundraiser, Rachel hopes to sell enough to earn the TV. But will Carrie Ellesmere beat her to it?
7. When Norman discovers the basement of the Waterhouse is full of life-sized, cut-crystal figures of all the inhabitants of Waterford he is fascinated, until he meets the furnace-tending fire-ogre. But soon he becomes a regular, secret visitor, spending happy hours rearranging the figures (and likewise the lives of those represented). Also a crystal weredingo.
Dear Evil Editor;
With her father dead, Princess Rachel has assumed the crown – but her cousin who is next in line for the throne is intent on preventing her from keeping it. Rachel Takes the Crown is a 12,000 word chapter book for 7-9 year olds and is meant to be the first in a series. [For those unfamiliar with chapter books, instead of selling entire books, you sell each chapter as a separate book. Eventually we'll have paragraph books, and you have to buy 800 of them to get the whole story. Of course it'll be annoying to get home with your paragraph book and all that's in it is one word, so they'll probably go with page books, where each book is one full page of a novel. It would be hard to keep one page from getting bent, so they'll have to be hardcovers.]
When her father, King Joseph, dies, Princess Rachel is left with a decision: buck the tradition that dictates that only men can rule, or abdicate in favor of her cousin Damien. It is a decision that she struggles with, but in the end, she decides that her father would want her to become the next ruler of Laternia [even though she's four years old and Damien is 28] . However, Damien would have no part of that [for he is the son of the devil]. [Isn't this the plot of Damien: Omen II? I hope you've cut down on the violence, considering your audience.] Declaring her rule illegal, he secretly plots to overthrow her publicly in order to install himself as king. The plan is overheard by young Captain Lassiter who attempts to defend Rachel. In the end, they together are able to thwart the attempt, but Damien escapes to a safe haven, free to plan a new attack to get what he wants.
While this is my first foray into fiction, [I am already an expert at alliteration.] I am a published writer who has worked with newspapers and magazines. I have covered business events as well as written on legal issues relating to real estate and investment funds from an institutional point of view.
I have enclosed a summary for your review, as well as a SASE for your reply. A full manuscript is available at your request. Thank you for your time.
This reads fine. I guess if the book is this short, I should expect its summary to be brief, but I wouldn't mind some additional plot. Rachel's age, a few details about Damien's scheme or Rachel's and Lassiter's defense?
The plot paragraph sounds like it could apply to a book with a much older age range. It has a mature vocabulary and concepts like abdicating and overthrowing seem a bit advanced for seven-year-olds. Presumably you've put it in terms they'll get. The question is, do you need to put the query in terms that sound less mature? I'm not suggesting that you write as if you're writing to a seven-year-old, but possibly you can make it sound more like a book young kids will dig. At least give it a quick try, and compare to this version.